So I cleaned off the layout downstairs and opened up my new LC+ remote (that I ordered in Oct 2015!). I got mine from Trainworld in Brooklyn and it was inside of 3 boxes. The outermost was the shipping box from Trainworld, then next there was a shipping box from Lionel. On the end of that box was a silver foil sticker on the top of the end tape on the box, labeled as "Quality Checked". I took it off and stuck it to the side of the box (pictured below). The tape didn't seem opened (maybe it was new tape). So I opened the box. Is this evidence of some part of a QA program by Lionel? Now I'm sure they have something, but I've never had one of these on any of my prior purchases. I don't buy the big ticket stuff (no Big Boys running around my rails).


Then I get to the third box which is the usual Lionel Orange, but I see in the upper right the Bluetooth logo. I never knew that LC was Bluetooth! I don't recall this being indicated on the other boxes with LC remotes inside. Was I just too enamored by the whole LC concept that I overlooked this item? The manual makes no reference to Bluetooth other than the word "pair" when speaking about assigning a train to the 1-2-3 buttons.


I moved on, I paired up to my UP LC+ in just a second, no problem at all. But so far I'm 0 for 2 of my plain old LC trains. My Santa Fe Scout RS-3 would not pair. Nor would my Scout Steam 2-4-2. I know the "Scout" series is the lowest cost of the line, so I wasn't too disappointed. My other 3 LC are the Diesel (from Thomas), the UP Lionel Junction 0-4-0 and the Dino Junction Diesel (repainted as BNSF) so the odds are not in my favor. I'm still OK as I know I have more LC+ in my future (I hope).


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Original Post

Haven't had a chance to try mine out yet.  I believe the communications protocol is 2.4 GHz spread spectrum digital radio frequency.  The Bluetooth capability is for updating the software/firmware and future control of Bluetooth equipped locos (such as the HO Polar Express, if I remember correctly).  At least this is my interpretation of what I've heard or seen.

As Landsteiner said, LionChief/LionChief Plus/FlyerChief use a standard 2.4GHz digital radio for communication.  The universal remote actually has two radios in it however, the normal 2.4GHz for LC/LC+/FC control, and a second bluetooth BLE radio.  The BLE (Bluetooth-Low-Energy) radio allows communication with (in theory) the HO polar Express model as well as any future BLE equipped engines.  The radio will also allow for firmware updates to the remote.  There has been discussion that some sort of update will be coming to allow for control of some, if not all, of the engines that are not currently supported.  

There is lots of good information in this thread:

Of particular interest to you may be the list of compatible and incompatible engines posted by Jon, (Railsounds), on 1-4-17 at 9:37 AM.  

And just for fun, here's a look inside:  


Thanks Landsteiner and John, I saw the beginning of that thread but hadn't kept following it. As I more or less expected, all 5 of my LC are on the "No" list. I saw the suggestions about future updates and the list. Thanks for pointing me back to it.

You're very welcome.  As discussed there, it is likely that at some future date support will be added for older LC engines.  

That list is buried pretty deep into the thread, perhaps we could ask Rich or one of the other mods to make a sticky out of Jon's post on the top of the LC sub forum?  Think I might just do that now.  


Not sure this will help anyone, but that other thread has some confusion about which post is which (Rudy's (Railsounds) update seems to be the latest, also referenced by J Galt Line, above).

Here's the link to the actual most recent post itself.


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